Matt Cain Throws Perfect Game

Matt Cain threw the 22nd perfect game in major league history tonight against the Astros.  Matt tied Sandy Koufax with 14 strikeouts for most in a perfect game.

On that criteria, one could reasonably rank Matt’s perfect game as the second best game ever pitched, after Koufax’s perfecto on September 9, 1965 against the Cubs, because Koufax did it on 113 pitches, while Matt had to throw a whopping 125 to record a perfect game with 14 Ks.  Matt now holds the record for most pitches thrown in a perfect, with David Wells’ 120 perfect game (11 Ks) on May 17, 1998 coming in second.

The fewest pitches used to throw a perfect game were Addie Joss’s 74 on October 2, 1908 against the White Sox.  He only struck out three.  Joss died less than three years later at age 31 of tubucular meningitus.  He throw another no hitter in 1910, also against the White Sox, becoming the only pitcher ever to no-hit the same team twice.

More recently, David Cone threw only 88 pitches while striking out ten Montreal Expos on July 18, 1999.

Cain’s Perfecto is the second of the year, following Phil Humber’s 96 pitch masterpiece against the Mariners on April 21st.

As you are probably aware, the Mets are contesting a ruling on a weak grounder down third base which was ruled a hit against R. A. Dickey, who allowed no other hits in a complete game win against the Rays tonight.  The Mets say David Wright made an error.  If the ruling is changed, it will be the sixth no-hitter of the young season, including the perfectos, Jared Weaver’s no-no, Johan Santana’s blown call no-hitter, and Kevin Millwood and five Seattle relievers’ combined no-hitter against the Dodgers.

The most famous combined no-hitter is, of course, the Babe Ruth/Ernie Shore effort on June 23, 1917.  Ruth walked the game’s first batter and was thrown out for arguing the umpire’s call.  Shore came in, Ruth’s base runner was caught stealing, and Shore retired the next 26 batters in a row.

The Mariner’s six pitcher no-hitter ties the mark set by Roy Oswalt and five Astros relievers on June 11, 2003.  Most of you probably don’t remember this, but it was a big, big deal when Vida Blue and three Oakland A’s relievers combined for a no-hitter on September 28, 1975.  Shows how much the game  has changed in one generation.

The only two perfect games of the 19th century were thrown by Lee Richmond and John Montgomery Ward five days apart around this part of June in 1880.  What is most amazing about the 1880 perfectos is that the Worchester Ruby Legs and Providence Grays made no errors.  Each team probably had at least several players who still were not using fielding gloves.  The Ruby Legs average 4.18 errors per game played that year, and the Grays averaged 4.10 per game.

Explore posts in the same categories: Anaheim Angels, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Oakland A's, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners, Tampa Bay Rays

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